Major Research Tools

African Newspapers, Series 1 & 2, 1800-1925


Collection of digitized newspapers from 21 countries across Africa during the years 1800-1925, covering "repercussions of the Atlantic slave trade, life under colonial rule and the results of the Berlin Conference to the emergence of Black journalism, the Zulu Wars and the rejection of Western imperialism." Mostly in English, but other languages include Afrikaans, French, German, Malagasy, Portuguese, Sotho, Tswana, Xhosa, and Zulu.


Coverage: 1875-2018

Archive of Al-Ahram ("the Pyramids"), the major daily Arabic language newspaper published in Egypt.

Dictionary of African Biography

Full-Text, Reference

Biographical information on the men and women who shaped Africa's history from earliest times to the present.

Encyclopaedia of Islam Online

Full-Text, Reference

Authoritative reference source on Islam and the Islamic world. Includes access to the completed second edition, the Glossary and Index of Terms and the in-progress third edition.

Encyclopedia of Africa

Full-Text, Reference

Encyclopedia covering the history, politics, and culture of African countries.

Historical Abstracts

Time period covered: 1450 to present; Publication coverage: 1955 to present

Indexes journal articles, book reviews, and dissertations on the history of the world, except the United States and Canada. Subjects include diplomatic history, economics, international relations, and political science.

Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World: Digital Collection


"Comparative and systematic analyses of Islamic beliefs, institutions, movements, practices, and peoples on an international scale."

Oxford Research Encyclopedia of African History


In depth articles on major topics and trends relating to the study of African history. Written (and periodically updated) by scholars and peer-reviewed.

Slavery, Abolition, and Social Justice

Coverage: 1490-2007

Vast collection of documents relating to the global slave trade and subsequent abolition efforts and social justice movements. Documents include manuscripts, court records, maps, lists of slaves and ships' logs, books, statistics, and many types of images.

Other Suggested Research Tools

African Online Digital Library


Gateway to web site with primary sources, particularly multimedia sources, on African history.

AHA Guide to Historical Literature

Location: Call #: D20 A46 1995x

Highly selective, annotated bibliography of books and articles in every field of historical scholarship. Bibliographies are organized geographically and further subdivided by time period and topic.

Encyclopaedia Islamica

Full-Text, Reference

An abridged translation of a Persian encyclopedia that is one of the most comprehensive sources on Islam and the Muslim world. Particularly strong in coverage of Shiʿi Islam. Still a work-in-progress; not many volumes of the translation have been completed yet.

International Medieval Bibliography


Multidisciplinary bibliography indexing journal articles and "miscellany volumes" (conference proceedings, essay collections or Festschriften) covering medieval studies in disciplines ranging from history to languages to art and music.

MEMRI: Middle East Media Research Institute


English translations of Middle Eastern media plus analysis of media reports.

Middle Eastern & North African Newspapers


Growing collection of 15 titles, mainly in Arabic but some English and/or French as well. When complete will cover "the decline of colonialism, the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the Suez Crisis, the Cold War, the rise of the petroleum industry, twentieth-century pan-Arab movements, both World Wars, the establishment of the state of Israel, the Iran-Iraq War, and the recent Arab Spring."

Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages

Full-Text, Reference

Reference work that covers "all key aspects of European history, society, and culture from 500 to 1500 A.D., as well as the Byzantine Empire, Islamic dynasties, and Asiatic peoples of the era."

Oxford Encyclopedia of African Thought

Full-Text, Reference

Encyclopedia on the intellectual tradition of Africa and the African diaspora. Covers trends in African philosophy, political theory, and religion, as well as significant historical figures and social movements.

Oxford Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages

Full-Text, Reference

Reference work that covers all aspects of the period from the fifth to the fifteenth century. With a focus on focus on Europe and Christendom, it also covers the rise of Islam and people of other cultures with whom Europeans came into contact.

Specialized Collections

Age of Exploration


Primary sources, including audio-visual materials, relating to key events in the history of European maritime exploration from c.1420-1920.

Apartheid South Africa 1948-1980


British government files covering the inception and implementation of apartheid by Daniel Malan, the strengthening of policies by Hendrik Verwoerd and the eventual destabilisation of the system under P. W. Botha.

Church Missionary Society Periodicals

Coverage: 1804-2009

Publications from the Church Missionary Society (CMS), the South American Missionary Society and the Church of England Zenana Missionary Society (CEZMS). CMS was founded in 1799 with aims including social reform in England and world evangelization. CMS was one of the most influential Protestant mission agencies and its work spread from Africa to the Mediterranean, the Middle East, Asia, Oceania and the Americas.

Confidential Print: Africa, 1834-1966


Collection of the most important papers generated by the British Foreign and Colonial Offices relating to Africa. Covers the whole modern period of European colonization of the continent from the British Government’s perspective.

Confidential Print: Middle East, 1839-1969


Collection of the most important papers generated by the British Foreign and Colonial Offices relating to the Middle East. Covers the whole Middle East but with a focus on the Arabian peninsula.

Digital National Security Archive


Collections of declassified documents covering US policy decisions around nuclear escalation and non-proliferation, the space race and military uses of space, and the Cuban missile crisis. Also includes collections of documents covering US foreign policy in relation to: Argentina; China; Colombia; Cuba; Mexico; South Africa; and North and South Korea.

Diversity & Tolerance in the Islam of West Africa

Full-Text, Visual Resource

This digital library contains archival and research materials such as audio and video interviews, transcripts, photographs, maps, and documents that explore Islamic practices in the West African countries of Senegal and Ghana.

East African Newspapers

Coverage: 1943-2003

Collection of 3 English-language newspapers covering post-colonial and contemporary events in the region, with more titles to be added. As of July 2021 titles are: Daily Nation (Kenya), The Ethiopian Herald, and The Monitor (Uganda).

Empire Online


Primary sources charting the rise and fall of empires, from the explorations of Columbus, Captain Cook, and others to decolonization in the second half of the twentieth century. Includes perspectives from colonizers as well as indigenous peoples from Africa, India and North America.

Encyclopaedia Iranica


Scholarly encyclopedia covering Iranian civilization in the Middle East, the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent. Still a work-in-progress based at Columbia University.

ETANA: Electronic Tools and Ancient Near Eastern Archives

Collection of core texts--both ancient and modern--on the ancient Near East. Also includes guide to web resources for the study of the ancient Near East.

Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index

Coverage: 1994-present

Index of journal articles, book reviews, and essays about women, sexuality, and gender during the Middle Ages. Covers Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. Provided by The University of Iowa Libraries.

First World War


Primary sources on World War I. Includes four thematic collections: Personal Experiences, Propaganda and Recruitment, Visual Perspectives and Narratives, and A Global Conflict.

Foreign Office Files for the Middle East, 1971-1981


Collection of documents from the British Foreign Office covering political relationships and significant events in the Middle East in the 1970s. Includes documentation on the involvement of the U.S. and Russia as well as the UK.

Frontier Life: Borderlands, Settlements and Colonial Encounters


Primary sources relating to various frontiers that arose from the movements of Europeans to Africa, Australasia and North America. The majority of the material originates from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Historical Atlas of Islam

Full-Text, Reference

Atlas of the Islamic world showing boundaries, trade routes, railways, empires, ethnic groups, etc.

Middle East 1916-2001: A Documentary Record


Collection of resolutions, agreements, statements, etc. relating to the history of the modern Middle East, particularly Israel, Palestine, and peace attempts. Part of Yale Law School's Avalon Project.

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Books


Collection of declassified United States government documents on foreign affairs and national security since World War II. Documents are grouped by topic or region of the world and cover nuclear history, U.S. intelligence and government secrecy, humanitarian interventions, the 9/11 attacks, and more.

Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt

Full-Text, Reference

Encyclopedia covering ancient Egyptian civilization from the predynastic era to the seventh century CE.

Slave Voyages

Data, Visual Resource

Detailed data on slaving voyages from the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database and the Intra-American Slave Trade Database. Also includes the African Names Database, which provides details of Africans taken from captured slave ships or from African trading sites, and a database of images relating to the slave trade.

Slavery and Manumission Manuscripts of Timbuktu


Arabic nineteenth-century manuscripts relating to slavery and manumission in Timbuktu provide documentation on Africans in slavery in Muslim societies.

Tahrir Documents


Archive of translated activist papers from the 2011 Egyptian uprising and its aftermath. Sponsored by UCLA.

Travel Writing, Spectacle and World History

Coverage: 1835 - 1976

Diaries and correspondence, plus some illustrations, describing the motivations for and experiences of travel by 19th & 20th century American women to destinations across the globe.

Travelers in the Middle East Archive (TIMEA)


Collection of texts, photos, maps, and other materials on Western interaction with the Middle East, "particularly travels to Egypt during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries." Provided by Rice University.

United Nations Information System on the Question of Palestine (UNISPAL)


Collection of full-text, United Nations documents related to the question of Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East from 1917 to the present.

Wilson Center Digital Archive


Declassified historical materials from archives around the world covering the Cold War, Korea, and nuclear proliferation.